Posts tagged “ticket”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The Ephemera Society is a non-profit body concerned with the collection, preservation, study and educational uses of hand-written and printed ephemera. – The term ‘ephemera’ covers a wide range of documents including leaflets, handbills, tickets, trade cards, programmes and playbills, printed tins and packaging, advertising inserts, posters, newspapers and much more. In the words of the society’s founder, Maurice Rickards, “the minor transient documents of everyday life”.

    Essentially produced to meet the needs of the day, such items reflect the moods and mores of past times in a way that more formal records cannot. Collectors of printed ephemera vary in their approach. Some focus on the ephemera of a particular trade or profession, others are interested in its social or graphic history. Other ephemerists collect documents simply as evocative reminders of the past.

  • What does it mean when getting access to medical care looks like getting tickets for a popular concert? – Ottawa's chief medical officer of health announced Thursday that the city will start issuing single-use, non-transferable wristbands in place of tickets to indicate each person's place in the queue. He expects that to make things fairer than the ticket system for others in line. "People are picking up tickets and then disappearing, picking up more than one ticket, just generally misusing and gaming the system," Levy said.

    Until now, some healthy people have been picking up tickets ahead of time so their children or other vulnerable relatives won't have to spend hours waiting in crowds at the clinics, where they could be exposed them to diseases such as swine flu. The new system could prevent them from taking such measures.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Police in Dallas give out citations to drivers for not speaking English – While they are still investigating what went on, there's a possibility that at least part of this was bad UI design: "Kunkle said his department's computer system for citations has a pull-down menu that includes a law requiring drivers of commercial vehicles to speak English." That's true for commercial but not true for regular drivers, and depending on how the software is used, that option may appear as a possible action that the police can take when citing a driver.
  • London Pub Night, November 2 – We'll be at the Riverfront bar & kitchen @ BFI. Hope to see you there!

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Lou Rosenfeld revisits an old engagement where the client sought to dissuade usage – What they told me was that they didn't really want to make it easy for veterans—those people risking their lives for their country—to learn about the health benefits that they were entitled to. And that taxpayers had committed to funding. All to save money—and for what??

    IT issue? Not. It was an issue of business model design, and this particular business model was shrouded in a sick morality emanating from the top levels of the VA's management structure. Absolutely immorally, shamefully, and horribly sick.

    [With the theme of persuasion, manipulation, and user-centeredness floating around lately, good to consider an example where the organization goals are 180 degrees from the user's supposed goals]

  • Citations for California drivers not using hands-free are on the rise – Seems like there was good compliance when the law was first passed but the numbers are climbing back up. One might think the best way to drive adoption of a product/service/behavior is to make it legally mandated but people are citing the poor user experience with Bluetooth headsets as a reason/rationalization for ignoring the law. "Sometimes, it can be more dangerous to figure out your Bluetooth than just to pick up the phone."

Unsupportive support

Have you seen this trick?

When using a website to report a problem (in my case, there was a new feature in Blogger that wasn’t working properly), you are asked to enter all your information (name, email, system used, description of problem), and then will receive an automated email almost immediately.

Sometimes those emails are simply acknowledgements. We’ve got your request; it’s in our system, a real person will get back to you ASAP once we’ve had a chance to look at it. Have you looked at our FAQ? But more often I’m seeing a little phrase stuck in at that bottom warning casually that if you STILL need help you have to do something (click on a link, hit reply, etc.). It’s very easy to skip over that warning since it’s buried and not part of the standard dialogue, in which case your request for help will be discarded.

I went through that with Blogger (or “Google” as they are also known) and many days later they posted on their status page that the problem was fixed (in fact, the problem had been in existence for several days but this hadn’t appeared on their status page, the fix announcement referred to the issue appearing briefly which was rather optimistic of ’em). Several days after that, they send me a generic email in response to my support request, suggesting that the problem may be fixed, or it may be solved by a fix listed at a website they point me to (not relevant to my problem), and if it’s still a problem, I should just submit a help request again!

Wow. I mean, really the problem has been solved and that’s great, but to suggest I start all over again when it feels like I have to jump through so many hoops to get them to even acknowledge my request – yikes. Talk about frustration.

I acknowledge that Blogger is free for most, and there are some millions of blogger pages, and when a piece of the service goes down they are likely to get an incredible number of support requests, and so the logistics of actually providing support are tremendously demanding for them. Fair enough. But – just looking at the customer side of it, the chipper tone in the email doesn’t really help when it doesn’t feel like they are listening to me.

For Blogger support, I’ve mostly been using a third-party site – a community of Blogger users and experts and enthusiasts called BloggerForum – if nothing else, this allowed me to determine that my problem was widespread enough that others were experiencing it, and that eased my concerns significantly – I figured they are probably working fixing it if it’s a bigger problem than just me. But I couldn’t get that reassurance from Blogger (though if they had posted the problem on their status page immediately and not 3 days later, that could have helped), and that’s too bad.


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